Respectful Insolence

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About a week ago, my good bud Steve Novella noted a tasty bit of silly pseudoscience finding its way around the usual places, such as Facebook, Twitter, and the like. It was one of those times where I smacked myself on the forehead (metaphorically speaking, of course) and asked, “How on earth did I miss this bit of pseudoscience?” It is, after all, more than Your Friday Dose of Woo-worthy, even though I haven’t done a YFDoW segment for over a year. (Remember, I found that my creation had become too constraining; so I retired it. I might bring it back someday, but today is not the day, obviously, because it’s Wednesday, not Friday.) In any case, Steve had fun with something called Harmonized Water by Osmosis Skin Care.

The website claimed these sorts of miraculous properties for its “drinkable sunscreen”:

  • A new technology that imprints frequencies as “standing waves” onto water molecules.
  • The ability to “stack” thousands of frequencies onto one molecule, for better “healing” effect
  • Revolutionary formula that allows Osmosis Skin Care to reverse engineer the frequencies of substances found in nature and/or the human body.
  • Recently identified frequencies that have beneficial effects on the body.


As Steve noted, if all these claims were true, and “Harmonized Water” could do all the things claimed for it, in particular to “vibrate above the skin to neutralize UVA and UVB, creating protection comparable to an SPF 30,” the creators of this magical water would be in serious consideration for a Nobel Prize. When you look at the ingredients listed, they’re listed as “Distilled Water and Multiple Vibrational Frequency Blends,” whatever that means, and the company claims that “similar to how noise reduction headphones work, these waters cancel out UV rays by delivering targeted wave patterns to the skin in the form of water.” So what’s more likely, that this company has made a Nobel Prize-worthy discovery and is marketing it as a “drinkable sunscreen” or that Harmonized Water is complete and total pseudoscience? I mean, come on!

I think you know the answer to that one.

Apparently, all the criticism of Harmonized Water as quackery and a scame that’s appeared in the skeptical blogosphere and in various other publications has concerned Osmosis Skin Care. I found this out because people have been forwarding to me an e-mail from the company touting the results of a “clinical trial” that, if the press release is to be believed, proves that this magic water can do what the company claims it can do. The press release begins by touting the glories of the product:

Osmosis Harmonized Water UV Neutralizer, also known as the world’s first drinkable sunscreen, went viral this summer, attracting record media coverage. To solidify the brand’s clinical and holistic approach to treating the source of skin conditions using non-harmful ingredients with guaranteed results, Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare executed the line’s first clinical trial on June 28, 2014.

This randomized clinical trial was designed to evaluate a new technology, scalar waves, to provide sun protection. Osmosis Harmonized Water UV Neutralizer in Tan Enhancement and No Tan both contain this form of radio-frequencies called scalar waves. When ingested, they vibrate above the skin to neutralize UVA and UVB, creating protection comparable to an SPF 30.

24 patients ranging from 18 to 60 with various ethnic backgrounds and skin types were exposed to one hour of sun to one side of the body between noon and 1pm after ingesting 3ml Osmosis Harmonized Water UV Neutralizer. Paul Ver Hoeve, MD, FACS of Facial Beauty by MD conducted the study and documented the results which showed 16 out of the 24 patients did not experience any burning. This testing provides evidence that this new form of sun protection is a viable alternative.

No just hold on thar, pardner! Let’s take a look at how this clinical trial was done. Right off the bat, it sounds—shall we say?—fishy even from just the press release. I see no description of an adequate control group. But, Orac, you say, the company provides pictures of the participants; so it must be science, right? Hilariously, the eyes are boxed out, as though this would prevent anyone who knew any of these people from identifying who the participants were. Be that as it may, the color balance of these photos is such that I can’t tell which of them have sunburn and which don’t, with the exception of a couple of particularly pasty-skinned Caucasians who are still pasty-skinned. Given that the pictures tell us virtually nothing, I guess we have to go to the methodology—after, that is, noting that this study was not published in even a bottom-feeding peer-reviewed scientific or medical journal. It was published on the company website, and it was clearly intentionally formatted so that it looks like a real journal article.

The authors also seem to have difficulty understanding what a randomized clinical trial is, as you can see from this excerpt from the abstract:

24 patients were randomly selected to participate in this trial. Each of them ingested 3ml of UV Neutralizer and was then exposed to one hour of sun to one side of the body between noon and 1pm on June 28, 2014 in San Diego.

And in the Methods section:

In this study, 24 patients were randomly selected as test subjects with no consideration for their natural skin tone.

[...]

The decision was made to not do a double-blind test for this application because of the ethical implications of knowingly causing a sunburn in many people.

I laughed out loud when I read this. First of all, if these investigators were so concerned about the ethics of their clinical trial, maybe they should have submitted their protocol to an Institutional Review Board (IRB) and had it approved before undertaking this research. I realize that they’re not really required to, given that their research is not funded by the government and—clearly!—not intended to be used as part of an application to the FDA for approval of their “drinkable sunscreen.” but their protestation of not wanting to intentionally inflict a sunburn on patients would carry more weight if they did that.

It is, however, amusing how it was pointed out that the examiner who looked at the skin of all the participants was “skeptical” of this Harmonized Water, which was described in the paper as water that’s somehow infused with something called “scalar waves” by a—of course!—proprietary process. In woo-speak, scalar waves are electromagnetic waves (radio waves, to be precise) that appear not to work according to the laws of physics as currently understood. According to a zero point energy advocate, Thomas E. Bearden, claims that scalar waves differ from real electromagnetic waves by having two oscillations antiparallel with each other originating from opposite charge sources, which means (if you believe this woo) that they lack any net directionality. In alternative medicine, all sorts of beneficial effects are attributed to scalar waves, if—of course!—the frequency is correct. (Remember, it’s always about the vibrations.) Harmonized water is no different, and these tricky scalar waves that physics doesn’t appear to be able to detect or characterize, at least not in the way that woo peddlers claim.

I’ve frequently written about the fascination alternative medicine has with “vibrations” and the frequencies of these vibrations, but I hadn’t heard of scalar waves before. If the RationalWiki entry is correct, apparently this particular bit of woo, which existed in free energy pseudoscience, found its way into alternative medicine somewhere around 2005 or 2006 and have since been invoked to waves explain homeopathy and cure diabetes, short sight, kidney stones, Parkinson’s, strokes, arthritis and cancer, not to mention reverse the aging process. Indeed, I came across something called the Metamatrix Healing Chamber, which is scalar wave pseudoscience cranked up to 11 and beyond.

So, if we are to believe this “clinical trial,” see if you can make heads or tails out of these results:

16 out of 24 patients exposed one side of their body to summer sun after ingesting 3ml of UV Neutralizer 90 minutes before the study was initiated. All 24 patients were evaluated before, and immediately after the exposure as well as the following morning. There was no evidence of a sunburn on 16 patients, 5 had minor or partial sunburns and 3 had significant sunburns in the study. All of the patients who burned said they would not normally lay out in the sun for one hour. Many of them said they burn with the use of other sunscreens as well. This proves UV Neutralizer effectively limited the sun damage for a majority of the users that consumed it.

People, this tells us nothing. Further up, the paper tells us that all 24 patients were exposed to the sun 90 minutes after drinking the Harmonized Water, but here it sounds as though only 16 were exposed to the sun. Which was it? And if it was the latter (only 16 patients exposed), how were these patients selected? By random? What was the randomization procedure? In particular, if it was only 16 who were exposed to the sun, then the results described were meaningless, given that it doesn’t describe which groups these patients fell into. Strike that. It just doesn’t make much sense anyway. Without a control group, even if all 24 subjects were exposed to the sun, you can’t say much of anything. This is particularly true given that there was only one observer (there should have been more than one, so that interobserver reliability could be assessed).

Oddly enough, even the authors seem to realize this, as later they write:

Clearly more discussion needs to be performed on what percent of the population can tolerate sun exposure regardless of the sunscreen used.

Ya think?

None of this stops them from proclaiming:

While the results were not 100%, the authors believe this was due solely to the excessive amount of sun they received to their relatively virgin skin and their overall health. Those who sunburned said they have never stayed out in the sun for one hour on one side before. Several of the sunburned patients did not burn on the parts of the body which had been exposed to the sun recently. There is the basic premise that there are a select group of people who cannot undergo any long term (in this study, 1hr on one side) sun exposure. It is the author’s opinion that a similar study using SPF 30 topical creams would produce a similar success rate.

And these guys are doctors? Really? Clearly they are doctors without any experience in clinical research and a poor grasp of basic science. For instance, get a load of Dr. Ben Johnson, one of the authors of this study. Specifically, take a look at his response to criticism when the British Association of Dermatologists challenged him:

I understand the skepticism. This is a new science. We did not learn about frequency medicine or scalar waves in medical school so I don’t expect most physicians to be open to it. That being said, the technology is real and incredibly effective. We have been selling waters imprinted with scalar waves for 7 years with roughly 90% success in each treatment category. We offer a money-back guarantee. Placebo only works when you actually think it will work, as you can imagine, most first time users are quite skeptical.

We can offer you evidence that we can make water anti-bacterial and anti-fungal by adding scalar waves since that can be tested in the lab. I will also have my PR person, Jessica, send you some information on scalar waves. Trust me when I say I would never sell or promote a Harmonized Water formula that wasn’t universally successful.

So not only does Dr. Johnson not understand physics or clinical trial design, but he doesn’t understand placebo effects, either. Indeed, he and Paul Ver Hoeve, MD, FACS fail Clinical Trial Design 101. I’m also puzzled by Dr. Ver Hoeve’s credentials. In his biography he is described as an internal medicine doctor. Yet, he appends “FACS” after his name. As a surgeon who is entitled to use that credential myself, I found that very strange, because “FACS” means “Fellow, American College of Surgeons.” To be able to use the “FACS” after one’s name, one must be an actual fellow of the ACS, which one can’t be if one hasn’t finished a surgery residency, applied to the ACS to be a fellow, and gone through an interview process with the local ACS chapter. How could Dr. Ver Hoeve use this title? Doing some searching on the web failed to find anything other than that he received his medical degree from Sapienza University of Rome and did an internal medicine residency at St Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center from 1985-88. That’s the standard three year residency, and no mention of a fellowship is made, nor is any mention of a surgery residency. I did a search of the American College of Surgeons website for Dr. Ver Hoeve, and found zero records corresponding to him as a fellow.

So why is he using “FACS” after his name? As a surgeon, I am offended. That designation is not easily earned, and I earned it. I call foul and fake.

Actually, foul and fake describe drinkable sunscreen very well.

Comments

  1. #1 Unity
    August 6, 2014

    Ben Johnson MD’s full name in Benjamin Taylor Johnson and I would strongly suggest that you check the status of his license to practice medicine in Colorado state via https://www.colorado.gov/dora/licensing/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx

    The license number is DR.0034609

  2. #2 David
    August 6, 2014

    “The decision was made to not do a double-blind test for this application because of the ethical implications of knowingly causing a sunburn in many people.”

    People who run real clinical trials know how to work through this challenge: Run a placebo-controlled, double-blind test with a minimal amount of UV light exposure, and compare pre-and post-exposure skin color using a method more sensitive than visual inspection of a photo. Such a trial could easily be executed with UV exposure within the range that normal people experience in daily life.

  3. #3 jenb
    United Kingdom
    August 6, 2014

    Fun exchange with the British Association of Dermatologists:
    http://www.bad.org.uk/for-the-public/skin-cancer/drinkable-sunscreen

  4. #4 Christine Rose
    Ann Arbor
    August 6, 2014

    All 24 were exposed to the sun. Of those 16 were dark enough so that they didn’t burn, 5 burned a little and 3 burned a lot.16 + 5 + 3 = 24. So 1/3 had results inconsistent with SPF 30. It’s hard to visualize a random sample that burns after 60/30 = 2 minutes in the sun.

    I’m a blonde with a history of blistering and basal cell carcinoma–I wouldn’t participate in this study for love or money.

    • #5 Orac
      August 6, 2014

      It wasn’t entirely clear to me from the way the paper was written, specifically the sentence I cited. It may be that that sentence was actually meant to say something else that didn’t sound as though only 16 out of 24 patients exposed themselves to the sun. Of course, it was a badly written paper in addition to being bad science.

  5. #6 Orac
    August 6, 2014

    @jenb: That exchange was so hilarious that I added a brief bit about it to the post. :-)

  6. #7 Chris Hickie
    August 6, 2014

    So “Dr” Johnson surrendered his license back in 2001 and Ver Hoeve claims an FACS status he almost certainly doesn’t have. I suspect the American College of Surgeons might be willing to take some action on this.

  7. #8 MI Dawn
    August 6, 2014

    This was hilarious. However, I can beat their claims. I laid out in the sun, at the seashore, for 5 hours, with no sunscreen (I know, I know…) and didn’t get sunburned at all! Can I bottle and sell sea air with a fancy name and all kinds of testimonials? I could undercut HIS prices, and think about all the good I would do (for my wallet). I’d make a million.

  8. #9 Orac
    August 6, 2014

    Exactly. With no control group, matched for skin color, there’s no way of knowing that this isn’t the result we would get giving the subjects nothing before they went and laid out in the sun. Actually, we do, given that Harmonized Water is just water. :-)

  9. #10 MI Dawn
    August 6, 2014

    And, I should add, no Harmonized water, either…just plain iced tea made with tap water.

  10. #11 Andreas Johansson
    August 6, 2014

    A new technology that imprints frequencies as “standing waves” onto water molecules.

    Frequencies of what? I note that an EM wave with a wavelength the size of a water molecule would be an x-ray.

  11. #12 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 6, 2014

    Frequencies of what?

    It seems clear these must be frequencies of light in the UVA and UVB ranges (so wavelengths of 290-400 nm) set up to be nearly exactly out of phase with the light received from the sun. How the precise phase control is maintained given different conditions of refraction and reflection is, I presume, both a marvel of modern science and a trade secret.

  12. #13 The Grouchybeast
    August 6, 2014

    Surely this has to be fraud? I do not understand how people who sell non-functioning products like this are not in jail. Is there some kind of legal principle that a product can be so patently ridiculous and stupid that no one could reasonably believe the claims made for it?

  13. #14 Chris Hickie
    August 6, 2014

    If I can dig up a harmonica from storage, I am going to find the note(s) at which I can set up standing waves in a container of water and call it Harmonicanized Water ™. Drinking such water will result Harmonious Hydration ™ and give you the ability to play notes on a harmonica that can set up standing waves in a container of water. Cue the old Coke song “I’d like to teach the world to drink, in perfect harmonicany…”

  14. #15 Eric Lund
    August 6, 2014

    The ability to “stack” thousands of frequencies onto one molecule

    It’s possible to do this if you have a molecule with more than a few hundred atoms. But if I’m reading the claims correctly, they are claiming that these frequencies are being stacked onto a water molecule. That simply doesn’t work. Also, the relevant frequencies for water are in the infrared, not the ultraviolet (this is why water vapor is a greenhouse gas).

    According to a zero point energy advocate, Thomas E. Bearden, claims that scalar waves differ from real electromagnetic waves by having two oscillations antiparallel with each other originating from opposite charge sources, which means (if you believe this woo) that they lack any net directionality.

    The waves do have no net directionality, provided the amplitude is zero. But if the cancellation is not perfect, they do have an amplitude and a direction. Also, you can’t add two vectors to get a scalar (I think the term “scalar wave” is intended to convey a distinction from ordinary electromagnetic waves, which can be thought of as vector waves, but it’s a blatant misuse of the term).

  15. #16 doug
    August 6, 2014

    Where does the UV energy “blocked” by the magic water go? Reflected? (therefore should be easily measurable) Absorbed? (maybe measurable; how much can one molecule absorb before it asplodes?) Or just nullified?
    How do the magic molecules find their way to skin surface? 3ml in an adult makes for a pretty stiff amount of competition from muggle water. And if they do get into position to “vibrate above the skin”, what keeps them there? Would a breeze be bad? Could a UV blocking filter be made by filling a suitable container, such as a Plexiglass box, with vapor of magic water, or does there need to be living skin in proximity to help scare away the UV?
    This stuff ought to be good for protecting retinas from UV damage. Either that or bring new meaning to “double blind” testing.

  16. #17 Greenwhat
    Newcastle, Australia
    August 6, 2014

    I live in the melanoma capital of the world and have so many questions.
    How long does the sunscreen effect last? mostly, you need to re- apply external products every 2 hours, how about the drinkable kind? If you do something inharmonious that effects the vibrations, will the protected time be less?
    In the trial, only 3 ml was ingested. This is a tiny amount. what if you drank a whole cup by accident. Are there overdose side effects? would you find yourself inside some kind of impenetrable force field?
    Most sunscreens require re-application after swimming. How are the scalar waves effected by exposure to plain old un-harmonised water? If they are hovering above the skin will they just dissipate on a windy day?
    I

  17. #18 Andreas Johansson
    August 6, 2014

    It seems clear these must be frequencies of light in the UVA and UVB ranges (so wavelengths of 290-400 nm)

    290 nm is very large, compared to a water molecule. I’m trying to imagine how the stacking is supposed to work.

  18. #19 Denice Walter
    August 6, 2014

    As ridiculous as drinkable sunscreen is, the facts are that woo-meisters with highly trafficked sites also scoff at sunscreen – that witches brew of cancer-causing chemicals**- so I imagine that there is an audience for it.
    ( Orac wrote about it a few years ago). Mercola sells tanning beds, Null believes that vitamin C overdoses will remedy any possible inflammation or sun damage, Adams screams, “Chemical warfare!” or suchlike.

    The sun is nature’s own generator of healing, they tell us: it enables us to get a proper dose of vitamin D which cures/ prevents cancer. But best of all- it’s ALL natural – just like skin cancer..

    As if useless magic water weren’t bad enough, the brilliant experimenters send their subjects out into midsummer’s blazing radiance at 33 degrees north lattitude*** for an hour.
    This is somewhat crazy.

    Using sunscreen correctly is both messy and annoying: it doesn’t last long and usually isn’t very appealing. Major companies advertise that their products have an improved look, smell or feel. People on the average must not be thrilled with it. These problems coupled with the trend against chemical intervention with Nature might help sell drinkable sunscreen.

    -btw- Orac, is it nice to call people ‘pasty’? How about ‘porcelain’ or ‘ivory’? It sounds better.

    ** my own has FIVE active ingredients, 110 SPF.
    *** rule of thumb: if you- or your ancestors- originated at 50 degrees north latitude it isn’t a good idea to be cavorting at 33.

  19. #20 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 6, 2014

    290 nm is very large, compared to a water molecule. I’m trying to imagine how the stacking is supposed to work.

    Quantum. And Pauli exclusion principle.

    But seriously, O2 is known to absorb wavelengths like 898.765 nm (see Fraunhofer lines), which is much larger than 290 nm. Presumably they’re claiming that somehow the electron orbitals are excited in just the right way to emit radiation at -290 nm.

  20. #21 stixx23
    Norman, OK
    August 6, 2014

    Regarding “Dr.” Johnson’s response to the B.A.D., I think there is an easy way to prove/disprove the scalar wave theory: Provide a glass of water into which is injected some E.coli, MRSA, C. botulinum, R. typhi, Y. pestis, etc. and have him apply the scalar waves and drink. If, as he claims, “we can make water anti-bacterial and anti-fungal by adding scalar waves ” there should be no problem at all!

  21. #22 Mu
    August 6, 2014

    If it works as advertised you’d glow in the dark under UV-light light a scorpion. Need to try at the next rave party.

  22. #23 JGC
    August 6, 2014

    Osmosis Skin Care is a false-flag operation: the stacked scalar waves don’t protect against sunburn but instead they impose mind control on those gullible enough to drink it.

    It’s the NWO back-up plan to chemtrails, now that we’ve all caught on and are spraying vinegar around to disrupt them.

  23. #24 Andreas Johansson
    August 6, 2014

    @Mephistopheles: The “clinical trial” certainly doesn’t claim anything so sane-ish. It tells us that they claim to “be able to imprint a type of radio-frequency called scalar waves onto water molecules.” The frequencies reportedly have “UVA and UVB ‘cancellation effects’” (quotes in original).

    Note that scalar waves, apparently, aren’t waves but frequencies.

  24. #25 Eric Lund
    August 6, 2014

    290 nm is very large, compared to a water molecule.

    It is, however, quite a bit shorter than the wavelengths that correspond to the vibrational modes of a water molecule–those wavelengths are well into the infrared. As MO’B says above, to get into the UV range you need something that will affect the electronic state of the molecule. And that is going to have other unpleasant effects: increased reactivity and decreased molecular stability. I don’t know what frequencies you need to excite electronic states of water (I do know they aren’t in the visible range, because water is transparent to visible light), so I don’t even know if UVA/UVB would even produce an effect, but if it did, it would probably be more harmful than helpful.

  25. #26 Ian
    Canada
    August 6, 2014

    It seems like they have the perfect control group already – the other half of the participant’s bodies.

    1) Expose one side to UV
    2) Drink the sunscreen
    3) Expose other side to same amount of UV
    4) Compare sides (crispy versus pallor I’m sure)
    5) Profit!

  26. #27 Jopari
    August 6, 2014

    JGC, hmm, allow me to propose a hypothesis regarding mind-control.

    Based on the fact that electrons have wave-particle duality. The waves stacked upon the water will affect the electrons throughout the body, causing your nervous system to act up, but the primary target is the brain. The synchronised frequencies will cause your brain to misfire, and the frequencies affect what thoughts you have. Through this, harmonized water will of course subtly affect your mind until your thoughts synchronise with the thoughts projected upon the water, they are aiming to use MIND-CONTROL!!

    Disregard the fact that there’s so much wrong with this hypothesis, heck, disregard that it’s impossible to stack frequencies upon a single molecule in the first place, which is the base assumption. You need to stop being so CLOSED-MINDED. Open up your mind, cause one day it will be established truth.

    Obviously, take with sarcasm in mind.

  27. #28 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    August 6, 2014

    The very first thing that jumped out at me about the study population (other than being very small) was that they were of varied ethnic backgrounds and no controls or matching at all. And what were the criteria to determine burning or severity of burning? The study makes no mention of the method used to inspect the skin (only visual? – prone to subjective observer biases that could be lessened by more than one observer, as Orac notes) nor what values returned by that inspection constituted no effect, minor burn, moderate burn or severe burn.

    In short, the “study” is a big steaming turd.

  28. #29 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 6, 2014

    Andreas Johansson,

    I had another thought about how they can stack a number of large frequencies on top of a very small water molecule.

    Did you ever see someone try to move a king sized mattress and springs on top of a subcompact car? I think of it like that. Use enough bungee cords, you can stack as many frequencies on a water molecule as you want, unless it stops suddenly.

  29. #30 Chadwick Jones
    August 6, 2014

    Does this ‘Harmonized Water’ have fluoride in it? I’m just asking for a friend…

  30. #31 Sigivald
    August 6, 2014

    Heuristic: Blind talk of “frequency” as if one all on its lonesome was Magically Effective, always indicates a crank.

    Never failed me so far.

  31. #32 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 6, 2014

    Eric Lund – It’s been a long time since I did IR and NMR spectroscopy, but I’m recalling that water does absorb microwaves in the 10cm range.

  32. #33 JGC
    August 6, 2014

    Disregard the fact that there’s so much wrong with this hypothesis, heck, disregard that it’s impossible to stack frequencies upon a single molecule in the first place

    That’s exactly what the Illuminati want us to believe…

  33. #34 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 6, 2014

    How do you excite an electron? Show it a naked proton.

  34. #35 Narad
    August 6, 2014

    I think the term “scalar wave” is intended to convey a distinction from ordinary electromagnetic waves, which can be thought of as vector waves, but it’s a blatant misuse of the term

    There’s a classic SB ridiculing of Bearden over here.

  35. #36 Sastra
    August 6, 2014

    Ugh. Water woo.

    A few years ago one of my friends was seriously interested in something called Kangen Water — ionized water which claimed that it would “Change Your Life” and was good for a suspiciously broad and inclusive range of health and environmental problems. She really, really didn’t have the money for this sort of thing so I helpfully provided her and her boyfriend with lots of skeptical research. A chemistry professor even did a line-by-line takedown of the impossible molecular description: clearly, the sellers were either ignorant or unethical, neither option being good. I heard nothing for a while, and thought that they’d abandoned it.

    Nope. Money they didn’t have — and they rave about the benefits even though their health problems never seem to improve. It’s the testimonials and — I suspect — the thrill of going against mainstream science (which is arrogant and dismisses things without trying it personally (plus there’s no right, no wrong, just different anyway.))

  36. #37 Denice Walter
    August 6, 2014

    Sastra said : ” the *thrill* of going against mainstream science”

    Exactly- that’s what is so attractive to many who advocate or subscribe to woo: the gigantic ego boost they get from being ‘ahead of the curve’ ( an expression I hate) ** and being amongst the harbingers/ prime benificiaries of ((shudder))
    ….pardigm shift.

    I suspect that the need for ego boosts or self-esteem lifts may reflect a lack of accomplishment of anything other than the most basic achievementsTHEREFORE engendering a great need to proclaim their nonsensical claims from the rooftops via facebook, twitter, blogs etc. Followers ( in both senses of the term) get a vicarious bon… I mean, *rise* out of their leaders’ many self-proclaimed discoveries and triumphs.
    Which makes the whole ensemble resemble unseemly public self-aggrandising self servicing.

    for horrific examples- read or listen to thralls’ praise for their idols- available at all the usual outlets

    ** probably the ‘learning curve’ – an expression I hate equally

  37. #38 Yllaria
    Stockton
    August 6, 2014

    @Greenwhat How long does it take to disburse in the body? Can the kidneys filter it out? If they can, does your protection go away when you pee? If not, now long can it build up in the body before it becomes toxic?
    —–
    If you’re talking about adding vibrations without directional movement, aren’t you talking about heat? Your skin would have to get pretty hot to start emitting UV rays.

  38. #39 Eric Lund
    August 6, 2014

    MO’B@32: Specifically, water will absorb and emit waves with a 21 cm wavelength–the “water line”, as radio astronomers call it. Those waves have the right frequency for the rotational modes of water. But that’s even further from UV than the infrared waves that are associated with the vibrational modes.

  39. #40 ebrillblaiddes
    August 6, 2014

    Aside from the errors in comprehension of reality…after all, sometimes it can be fun to play the “but what if it’s different after all” game (although unethical to make recommendations based on it)…if they want to compare the results to SPF 30, why don’t they have a special!water group and an SPF 30 group, generated by pairing people of similar pigmentation and doing a coin toss for who gets which? I would have flunked Intro to Research Methods for concluding what they’re concluding from the “study” they did, since “we didn’t do the easy step thing that would have let us measure, but we THINK it’s the same” is a very bad answer.

  40. #41 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    August 6, 2014

    It’s been a long time since I did IR and NMR spectroscopy, but I’m recalling that water does absorb microwaves in the 10cm range.

    IIRC, my microwave oven operates at around 2.3 GHz, about 12 and change cm, and a glass full of water molecules get so excited that they jump out of the glass and go flying around. I remember reading that higher frequencies would excite the water more efficiently, but lower frequencies are used because they penetrate the target deeper.

    Anybody know what the pass band is for a water filter?

  41. #42 Eric Lund
    August 6, 2014

    the gigantic ego boost they get from being ‘ahead of the curve’ ( an expression I hate) ** and being amongst the harbingers/ prime benificiaries of ((shudder))
    ….pardigm shift.

    This attitude is not limited to aficionados of medical woo, but includes all sorts of believers in crank and crackpot theories: global warming deniers, goldbugs, purveyors of perpetual motion machines, etc. At least for physics there is the Crackpot Index. I’m not aware of any similar tool for other areas, but the thinking is similar.

    The thing is that for every one of these fringe theories that actually passes the test, there are many (hundreds? thousands? millions? probably field dependent) that don’t. It may be true, as so many of these folks claim, that they laughed at Galileo and Einstein. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. And in most cases, comparing these clowns to Bozo is unfair to Bozo.

  42. #43 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 6, 2014

    If I’m reading http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/vibrat.html correctly, water absorbs UV quite well below 100nm, but is pretty transparent to wavelengths above about 200nm. Which is why you’ll sunburn even if wet.

  43. #44 palindrom
    August 6, 2014

    Eric @ 38 — I think this was an extraordinarily rare example of a tech error on your part. The 21 cm line is from atomic hydrogen — it’s from the so-called hyperfine splitting between the states in which the magnetic moments of the electron and proton are parallel and antiparallel. There is also a transition at 18 cm from OH. The portion of the radio spectrum defined by those two lines is pretty quiet, so it would in principle be a favorable one for interstellar communication, and because it includes H and OH features it was dubbed “the water hole”. If I recall, Sagan would wax poetic (as was his wont, bless him) about the civilizations of the Galaxy gathering at the water hole, much as herds gather at water holes in the Serengeti.

    For a time there was some interest in searching for beacons at the geometric mean of the H and OH frequencies, because it marks a unique frequency for critters whose life processes are based on goop floating in aqueous solutions.

    As for the subject of the post — some kinds of woo are promoted by people who sincerely believe their message (I’ll be Dana Ullmann really, really thinks homeopathy is right). But reading the copy for this stuff, it’s hard to see how anyone involved could be engaged in anything but outright fraud.

  44. #45 palindrom
    August 6, 2014

    … just for the record, water does have a spectral line at 22 GHz, around 1.4 centimeters. This is seen strongly in interstellar molecular clouds, where the transition can be pumped by ambient radiation to produce natural MASERs.

  45. #46 Dangerous Bacon
    August 6, 2014

    “Recently identified frequencies that have beneficial effects on the body.”

    This claim is reminiscent of Rife machine promotion – the idea there being that each disease or pathogen has a specific electromagnetic frequency and if you attach yourself to a Rife machine generating that frequency, voila, a cure. There are long lists of “healing” frequencies on the Internet for every imaginable condition including some which medical science hasn’t even imagined yet.

    How much easier if we can just drink vibrational frequencies that will banish heart disease, cancer, Lyme disease, Morgellons, toenail fungus etc.
    I’m going to run out and buy stock in this company!!!

  46. #47 Patrick Arambula
    August 6, 2014

    M O’Brien @ 29,”Use enough bungee cords, you can stack as many frequencies on a water molecule as you want, unless it stops suddenly.”
    Think they’ll buy a burgeoning adjunct market? Maybe I can sell a molecular bungee cord that will augment their Harmonized water……

  47. #48 Chris Hickie
    August 6, 2014

    @MOB #34:

    How do you excite an electron? Show it a naked proton.

    Is the show free of charge?

  48. #49 Flora
    August 6, 2014

    Yeah, about this: A friend of mine who was prey to EVERY possible kind of woo imaginable latched on to Kangen water and spent money she could ill afford on it for the last few years. The claim is that disease “cannot” thrive in the alkaline conditions it creates in the body. She died recently after a steep decline in health as a result of uncontrolled diabetes, multiple strokes, and dementia. She refused to see an actual doctor because the magic water would never allow her to get sick!

    BTW please do *not* let Gwyneth Paltrow know about the drinkable sunscreen. She already thinks water can have its feelings hurt, so there is no telling where she would go with this stuff.

  49. #50 palindrom
    August 6, 2014

    Well, that tears it.

    Proton walks into a bar.

    “Bartender! I lost my electron1″

    “You sure?”

    “I’m positive!”

  50. #51 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 6, 2014

    Is the show free of charge?
    If your a neutron, yes.

  51. #52 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 6, 2014

    wow, did I really type “your” instead of “you’re”?

  52. #53 Derek Freyberg
    August 6, 2014

    And, according to the good Dr. J, it doesn’t work for everyone, and exercise disrupts the frequencies so it works less well. See http://www.osmosisskincare.com/Research/Dr_Johnsons_Corner_June_2012.aspx; and there’s his July 2012 update too.

  53. #54 Mark Hanna
    New Zealand
    August 6, 2014

    Here in New Zealand, the Society for Science Based Healthcare complained about the way this product was advertised. This was before this “clinical trial” of theirs, but they said in their response to our complaint that:

    “This is a new type of technology being used in this way and Head office can reference the internal research they did showing the product to be effective, but their independent clinical trial isn’t until the 28th of June, whereby they will put 30 people outside for one hour in San Diego, CA at noon supervised by a plastic surgeon. So perhaps we have some extra time to submit these results? We are told our UK distributor will also be conducting their own study.”

    I have to say, I’m hardly surprised to find this “clinical trial” is so spectacularly awful. The complaint we laid was upheld, and they’ve removed the product from their New Zealand website as a result. I almost hope they try to appeal with this study, that would be hilarious.

    Here’s a link to the write up of this complaint on the Society for Science Based Healthcare’s website: http://sbh.org.nz/news/drinkable-sunscreen-hard-to-swallow

    I’ve written a bit more about it on my own website as well: http://honestuniverse.com/2014/07/29/asa-complaint-osmosis-skincares-drinkable-sunscreen/

  54. #55 Ken
    August 7, 2014

    @ebrillblaiddes (#40), that would be a more sensible protocol. Of course given the baseline, almost anything would be.

    My own version would be slightly non-random. The magic water group would be the executives and sales force of Osmosis Water; the SPF30 group can be anyone. Everyone spends three hours on a nice sunny beach, and can use as much of their assigned product as they want.

  55. #56 Rick
    August 7, 2014

    Well at least the drinkable sunscreen is homeopathic! H2O diluted to infinite C.

  56. #57 Jopari
    August 7, 2014

    Actually Rick, this is pretty much homeopathy repackaged.

  57. #58 Jopari
    August 7, 2014

    Dammit, I shouldn’t read when tired. Sorry, Rick.

  58. #59 Jopari
    August 7, 2014

    Though by the original hypothesis, the water remembers the molecules it was exposed to, therefore this is still unremarkable water, too bad it isn’t potentiated.

  59. #60 Pete A
    August 7, 2014

    A fun break from this awful water anti-science:
    “Humble drops of water levitate their way to stardom”
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24449-humble-drops-of-water-levitate-their-way-to-stardom.html

  60. #61 Krebiozen
    August 7, 2014

    It’s amazing what utter BS these scamsters think up, and even more amazing how many fall for it.

    There are more plausible ingestible sunscreens: carotenoids such as astaxanthin and canthaxanthin, the chemicals that make shrimp and flamingos pink. Given a high enough dose for long enough these accumulate in the skin, turning it a vaguely suntanned color (in light-skinned people), and perhaps reduces sunburn; the evidence is suggestive if somewhat sparse.

    I have also seen pills containing, “a blend of PABA, L-Tyrosine and Copper” on sale in health food stores for the same purposes. Presumably the tyrosine is intended to be a melanin precursor (though I don’t think it works like that), but what the copper and PABA are for I have no idea.

    The FDA classifies these substances as GRAS, and they are available from some health food suppliers, should anyone feel the urge to self-experiment. Personally I’ll be sticking with well-tested sun-screens.

  61. #62 herr doktor bimler
    August 7, 2014

    but their independent clinical trial isn’t until the 28th of June

    Ah. So the show clinical trial to test the product’s efficacy came long after it went on the market, and was purely intended to mollify national regulators. OK.

  62. #63 Renate
    August 7, 2014

    but what the copper and PABA are for I have no idea.

    The copper might be for some colour?

  63. #64 Richard Bos
    The Netherlands
    August 7, 2014

    Denice (#37):
    You know who was also ahead of the curve? Ayrton Senna.

  64. #65 Lurker
    August 7, 2014

    Years ago a close friend & I had a name for this sort of merry merde: ‘Guru Water.’

    Agreed, it’s not ignorance, it’s overt fraud. Screaming red fraud. As for their ‘experiment,’ the absence of a control group makes the rest of it moot, but their language in promoting it demonstrates clear intent to deceive. They are con artists, and they should be prosecuted and sentenced to prison.

    What is it about this ‘vibrations’ stuff anyway? The earliest popular usage I can think of was an American pop song titled ‘Good Vibrations,’ in the 1960s. Anyone here know of any instances from earlier than that? Any idea where it actually originated?

    JGC @ 23: You owe me a new keyboard for that!;-)

  65. #66 Denice Walter
    August 7, 2014

    @ Lurker:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this goes back to Rife.
    -btw- there’s a Dr Emoto and a Mr Ohno who rhapsodised about the crystalline structure of water and water’s memory

  66. #67 Michael LeGower
    August 7, 2014

    I will tell you as I told Dr. Novella, you should file a complaint with the FTC. I can’t speak for the FTC as an institution, but as an economist in their employ, their claims seem to warrant a deception/ad substantiation investigation.

  67. #68 Dangerous Bacon
    August 7, 2014

    Why is Orac assuming that Dr. Ver Hoeve isn’t entitled to the appellation “FACS”?

    Can we be sure it doesn’t stand for “Federation of Apprentice ConMen & Scammers”?

  68. #69 Stuartg
    August 7, 2014

    Eric @ 42

    Years ago I read of a condition called “psychoceramica.”

    Establishing the diagnosis was as simple as measuring serum porcelain.

    If the result indicated more than 3 cracks per cup, the patient was completely potty.

  69. #70 Amy
    August 7, 2014

    If he’s using the FACS title inappropriately, you should be able to report him to the organization that designates this title. I’m sure they would be able to fine him for it, I know that my organization does this (I’m an RVT and at least in Ontario, you can’t legally use the title without going through the proper protocols to earn it).

  70. #71 Brian
    AZ
    August 7, 2014

    Wow, 16 whole participants! What a diverse group of people. I bet they all have violet auras…

  71. […] See: The makers of Harmonized Water (a.k.a. drinkable sunscreen) do a “clinical trial.” Hilarity ensu… (Respectful […]

  72. #73 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 7, 2014

    Re: copper

    Perhaps you are familiar with Doc Savage, “The Man of Bronze”. I’m sure he didn’t need sunscreen. How can you have bronze without copper?

  73. #74 Ben Johnson
    Evergreen Colorado
    August 8, 2014

    You guys are funny. You want to poison me or thrown me in jail. Haven’t you wondered how all these people (from the trial and outside of the trial) are reporting great results? You cannot placebo sun protection. Why would anyone ever sell a fake sunscreen, how far could they go? Why would the owner of a skincare company do that in particular? Why do people keep reordering it? Why would we provide a money-back guarantee if we were in it for the quick cash? I’m sure these and many more questions have filtered through your minds. The answer is that I believe most sunscreens are harmful and I created this for those who want better option. The waves only affect the sun, they do not work in the SPF labs so this was the reasonable option. The double blind studies are coming for other formulas affecting eczema, psoriasis, acne, and several other conditions. The UV Neutralizer has been on the market for 2 years with rave reviews from most. The other formulas have been around for 7 years. Don’t be so arrogant as to think you have the universe and all its magic figured out. Leave a little room for new ideas that don’t make sense in our guesswork known as “modern science” where things are measurable…but change when we focus our attention on it (another scalar effect). NASA makes scalar waters for their astronauts but much of this information is not shared with the public.
    Bearden is brilliant, he and many other great minds have been trying to wake the world up to what is happening underneath (for lack of a better word) the cell, not in it. Everyone who tries my formulas is skeptical which certainly makes placebo harder, but our 90% success rate for a multitude of issues makes placebo an impossible explanation. Now go ahead…hate on me some more :)

  74. #75 KayMarie
    August 8, 2014

    Why would anyone ever sell a fake sunscreen, how far could they go?
    Why do people sell fake anything? There are people who will buy it and you make more money selling it than it costs to produce. Why are people still falling for 419 scams that have been around since what the pony express?

    Why would the owner of a skincare company do that in particular?
    Skincare aisles are full of products that do not live up to the marketing claims. If half the claims were true we would all have the skin of a 15 year old super model.

    Why do people keep reordering it?
    People keep reordering all sorts of other worthless products, why should yours be the one and only one that is exempt from the human tendency to do this.

    Why would we provide a money-back guarantee if we were in it for the quick cash?
    Now this one is easy. Most people who are not satisfied with the product do not try to get their money back. The time and trouble isn’t worth the money you get back. Many money-back offers have stipulations and conditions on them so that many who try still can’t get their money back. You can’t prove you used the product exactly perfectly right, you can’t get your money back. It is really pretty easy to get out of giving people their money back and most of the time people give up before spending even more money to try to get it back.

    Mostly, money back offers are a great marketing tool to convince at least a few of the fence sitters to give it a go.

    It is not true that placebo only works if you are a true believer in the one cure to cure them all. The cognitive biases leading to placebo effects are present even in the skeptical. We just tend to understand how and why we get bamboozled.

    Magic implies something that does not work by the natural laws of the universe. Scientists are generally far more aware than most of all the things in the universe they do not know. However, we have found, that even the weirdest of the weird that turns out to bereal after having independent tests run in multiple labs all passing peer review with tighter controls as they go along, still belong very much to the natural world, not the world of fantasy and make believe.

  75. #76 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    August 8, 2014

    Ben Johnson:

    Don’t be so arrogant as to think you have the universe and all its magic figured out.

    Because that’s your job, is it, to be arrogant in thinking you have the universe and all its magic figured out, eh?

    Look. You say we shouldn’t assume we know it all. That’s true! Very good advice! But you ignore the obvious next step: if we shouldn’t assume everything we know to be true, then why should we assume your claims to be true? Why should I trust you, a total stranger who claims this product has been tested but provides no other proof? And this: “The waves only affect the sun, they do not work in the SPF labs so this was the reasonable option.” That’s special pleading; you’re trying to excuse not testing it. But it’s ridiculous. Several people above have suggested reasonable and quite easy tests that could be done outside of a lab environment. So far, all I see from you is excuses and complaints of being treated unfairly merely because we don’t accept your statements at face value. You make no effort to address our criticisms. This tells me that you have no answer to them. You are interested in selling a product, not in making an effective sunscreen. If it happens to be an effective sunscreen, that is merely a happy coincidence.

    BTW, I’m pretty sure you don’t understand what the placebo effect is when you suggest that skepticism makes it harder. Placebo is as much about the expectations of the observer as the expectations of the patient. Placebo effect even works on inanimate objects because of this. It’s not magic; it’s subjectivity.

  76. #77 JGC
    August 8, 2014

    Ben, a couple of simple questions:

    How in a laboratory setting does one distinguish between water molecules that have had frequencies imprinted on them as standing waves and water molecules that have not had frequencies imprinted on them as standing waves? Decribe the procedure.

    How does one distinguish between water molecules that ahve had different frequencies imprinted on them?

    The manufacturer’s claim the ability to stack ‘thousands’ of frequencies onto a single water molecule: how can one determine accurately measure the number of frequencies stacked onto a specific water molecule? Can one tell the difference between molecules with 10, 100, 1000 and 5000 stacked frequencies?

  77. #78 JGC
    And while we're on the subject...
    August 8, 2014

    NASA makes scalar waters for their astronauts but much of this information is not shared with the public

    Citation needed.

  78. #79 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 8, 2014

    @Ben Johnson – I for one have not “hated on you”. However, I find everything you say implausible in the extreme. For example:

    The waves only affect the sun
    I hope you mean light from the sun, not the sun itself, as I fear the consequences if fiddling with the sun. In precisely what way does a photon with a wavelength in the UV spectrum from the sun differ from one produced by, say, an LED?
    The double blind studies are coming for other formulas affecting eczema, psoriasis, acne, and several other conditions.

    While I certainly look forward to seeing those studies, you should really have some minimal level of proof that your products work before you start selling them. Without double blind studies, I’m presuming your work was as good as what it appears you did for sunscreen – have someone say, “yep, looks better all right.”

    NASA makes scalar waters for their astronauts but much of this information is not shared with the public.

    I plan to ask some of my friends at NASA about that, but please provide proof. Oh, wait, they don’t share that information with the public, so you can’t provide it. How convenient.

    wake the world up to what is happening underneath (for lack of a better word) the cell, not in it.

    So this is happening where, subspace?

    If you could please provide more evidence that your miracle solar cancellation water field does more than a nice glass of tap water, please share.

  79. #80 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 8, 2014

    Sigh – blockquote failure.

    I do give you credit that you’re not operating one of those scams where someone orders your product once and is continually charged for more product every month, whether they want (or receive) it or not.

  80. #81 LW
    August 8, 2014

    Can one tell the difference between molecules with 10, 100, 1000 and 5000 stacked frequencies?

    I am neither a chemist nor a physicist, but my understanding is that molecules are constantly in motion, bouncing off of each other and the molecules of the container and thereby distributing energy among them. What prevents these “frequencies” from getting disrupted under these circumstances?

    I’m guessing the answer is “magic” but perhaps there’s some real mechanism for keeping molecules vibrating just so.

  81. #82 Andreas Johansson
    August 8, 2014

    JCG wrote:

    How in a laboratory setting does one distinguish between water molecules that have had frequencies imprinted on them as standing waves and water molecules that have not had frequencies imprinted on them as standing waves? Decribe the procedure.

    Acc’d to the clinical trial, “there does not appear to be a test to prove the deposition of scalar waves into the water.”

  82. #83 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 8, 2014

    “there does not appear to be a test to prove the deposition of scalar waves into the water.”

    So the way you know in a laboratory setting what frequencies have been imprinted on water molecules is to read the label. This is not unlike how one tells one homeopathic remedy from the next.

  83. #84 Narad
    August 8, 2014

    Bearden is brilliant, he and many other great minds have been trying to wake the world up to what is happening underneath….

    Bearden simply misunderstood Maxwell’s equations and came to the conclusion that the “scalar information had been lost” when they were rewritten from the quaternion form. It’s high comedy.

  84. #85 Denice Walter
    August 8, 2014

    OT but are alt med ex-doctors being ‘persecuted by the fascistic government’ ever truly OT @ RI?

    I just listened to today’s taped Gary Null Show @ PRN and scanned to the featured guest, Dr Harvey Bigelsen @ 48 minutes in ( see bigelsen.com/ quackwatch entry/ facebook) who is being hauled off to court ( in Nevada City, California) in September because of his quackish ways which have been habitual for many years ( quite a story). He even has a legal fund ( I stand behind ‘Dr B’ /facebook)
    What makes this rather remarkable is that he is hiring quite a big gun( Mark Geragos) to defend him. His woo is rather mundane altho’ he had something to do with homeopathy being somewhat accpeted in Arizona I believe.

  85. #86 JGC
    August 8, 2014

    there does not appear to be a test to prove the deposition of scalar waves into the water

    One therefore has to presume no post-manufacture quality control testing is being done before releasing new lots of harmonized water for sale.

    Doesn’t that trouble you, Ben? If insufficient waves are imprinted to be effective the consumer is risking a serious sunburn–and if too many or the wrong waves were imprinted–can you say overdose, or toxicity?

  86. #87 JGC
    August 8, 2014

    The more I think of it the the more I would argue that until there is some way to conduct basic quality control checks on newly manufactured lots or harmonized water–to demonstrate that you have the water molecules have in fact been imprinted with the intended frequencies ‘stacked’ to the intended extent–the manufacturer has no business offering the product for sale, whether it works to protect against sunburn or not.

    Wouldn’t you agree, Ben?

  87. #88 Narad
    August 8, 2014

    Dr Harvey Bigelsen @ 48 minutes in ( see bigelsen.com/ quackwatch entry/ facebook) who is being hauled off to court ( in Nevada City, California) in September because of his quackish ways

    Given all the whining about how easy it is to “antidote” homeopathic “remedies,” I’m surprised they’ll put up with this:

    “Bigelsen’s breakthrough in homeopathy came when Dr. Fredrick Plog, a German naturopathic doctor who used a system called Enderlein therapy, cured his son, Adam, then 17, of mononucleosis in four days instead of the normal six months.

    “In the Enderlein therapy, the homeopathic remedy may be mixed with the person’s own blood and then injected back into the person’s body.”

  88. #89 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 8, 2014

    @JGC – fortunately, it appears that Osmosis Skincare only sells one variety of harmonized water (all the other products I looked at had some other ingredient), so it’s unlikely to confuse the acne formula with the sunscreen formula. But you’re quite correct – if a substandard or overpowered batch of UV Neutralizer were to go out the door, how would anyone know? That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.

  89. #90 Chris
    August 8, 2014

    Ben Johnson: “NASA makes scalar waters for their astronauts but much of this information is not shared with the public.”

    Someone obviously did not understand the vocabulary in his algebra, vector calculus nor introductory college physics classes. The only scalars that come into play for water waves are the variables that determine the sizes (magnitude) of the describing vectors. The are called scalars because they “scale” things up or down.

  90. #91 Sami
    August 8, 2014

    I call bullshit not least because I glanced at the page of partipants, and the number of them who had melanin in their skin by heredity or tanning were sufficient to explain 16/24 not being burnt right there.

    An hour of sun in San Diego is not an extinction-level event for skin with any natural protection to speak of.

  91. #92 Chemmomo
    Where the clouds are breaking up now, at 9am local
    August 9, 2014

    Sami, I didn’t look at pictures but I agree:An hour of sun in San Diego is not an extinction-level event for skin with any natural protection to speak of.
    And unless the company imported all of the subjects from elsewhere or intentionally selected folks who never go outdoors they’re not getting folks naïve to sun exposure. Our weather forecasts are more concerned with when any cloud cover might dissipate – as in will it 9am, 10am, or noon—than if. The natives here are quite well exposed to sunlight (and many do acquire that natural protection) on pretty much a daily basis.

  92. #93 Chemmomo
    Let's try that again,with formatting
    August 9, 2014

    Sami, I didn’t look at pictures but I agree:

    An hour of sun in San Diego is not an extinction-level event for skin with any natural protection to speak of.

    And unless the company imported all of the subjects from elsewhere or intentionally selected folks who never go outdoors they’re not getting folks naïve to sun exposure. Our weather forecasts are more concerned with when any cloud cover might dissipate – as in will it 9am, 10am, or noon—than if. The natives here are quite well exposed to sunlight (and many do acquire that natural protection) on pretty much a daily basis

  93. #94 Pete A
    August 9, 2014

    Standing waves are not “scalar waves”, they are rotating phase vectors that also possess eigen values and eigenvectors. Furthermore, there are three types of waves: near-field; mid-field; and far-field — only the latter type is a self-propagating wave vector. However, it is nonsensical to describe near-field and/or mid-field waves as “scalar waves” to differentiate them from self-propagating wave vectors (unless one is promulgating anti-science by way of wilful obscurantism).

    It is impossible to “imprint” a mechanical or electromagnetic system with stacked frequencies because: 1) the word imprint means that the imprinted/stamped system will retain that which was imprinted on it; 2) in order to retain “stacked frequencies” the system must have a Q factor of infinity (i.e. both zero damping factor and zero emission) at each of the “imprinted” frequencies — this is impossible with solid, liquid, or vaporised water; all the way down to the quantum level.

    The reason that the “imprinted” frequencies cannot be measured in Harmonized Water is because the amplitude of any standing waves induced would drop very rapidly below the level of molecular- and atomic-level thermal kinetic agitation. In other words, it’s just water at ambient temperature and indistinguishable from water that has not been “imprinted” with mechanical or electromagnetic energy.

    Perhaps Ben Johnson will explain to us why shaking the water, exposing it to acoustic vibrations, and the huge amount of energy from infrared photons (ambient heat) and daylight photons (including ultraviolet), in no way interferes with that which was “imprinted”. Then further explain how the human body receives only the original “imprint” yet not the mechanical and electromagnetic “imprints” it received during shipment, storage, and use. Or perhaps I can sell Ben and his followers copies of the Silent Healing CD, which contains 34000 homeopathic remedies — nobody has yet managed to show that this audio CD does not contain all these remedies.

  94. #95 Narad
    August 9, 2014

    However, it is nonsensical to describe near-field and/or mid-field waves as “scalar waves” to differentiate them from self-propagating wave vectors (unless one is promulgating anti-science by way of wilful obscurantism).

    You don’t get it: scalar waves (Mk. II) only exist in the time domain. I think.

    With the caveat that, as far as electromagnetic weapons go, loading Bearden’s site nearly crashed my browser, EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW IS WRONG.

  95. #96 Pete A
    August 9, 2014

    Narad, how long do standing waves persist in the time domain once the source of energy has been removed?

  96. #97 Brook
    August 9, 2014

    Pete A – long enough for your check to clear

  97. #98 Chris
    August 10, 2014

    Pete A: “Standing waves are not “scalar waves”, they are rotating phase vectors that also possess eigen values and eigenvectors. Furthermore, there are three types of waves: near-field; mid-field; and far-field — only the latter type is a self-propagating wave vector.”

    You are almost speaking my language. And yes, a standing wave needs a constant source of energy. An example is the standing wave demo that used to be at a local aquarium. But there are several videos available online.

    As a structural dynamics engineer, it was part of the random vibration behavior we tried to avoid happening on the shake table!

  98. #99 Narad
    August 10, 2014

    Narad, how long do standing waves persist in the time domain once the source of energy has been removed?

    They are the source of energy. Or something. I would refer you back to this.

  99. #100 Pete A
    August 10, 2014

    Brook (#97) — I wish I’d thought of that :-)

    Chris (#98) — Water tank and shake table testing facilities are fascinating and highly instructive, let alone being essential engineering tools. As you pointed out, standing waves require a constant source of energy and they are best minimized at design time. Here’s an example of a design error — the “Wobbly Bridge”:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Bridge_(London)

    Narad (#95 & #99) — I don’t understand your replies at all. Are you saying that scalar waves do actually explain how Harmonized Water is (or might be) an efficacious drinkable sunscreen? My practical experience, with both mechanical and electromagnetic systems, has led me to believe that such claims require extraordinary evidence, which is absent in the case of this product. Standing waves are not the source of energy in a system (unless you believe in magic energy, conspiracy theories, and marketing health products before they have been properly tested for efficacy and risks):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_wave

  100. #101 Chris
    August 10, 2014

    Pete A, we may be crossing over the (third) Tacoma Narrows Bridge next weekend. The film of the first one, Galloping Gertie, was shown in several of my classes, along with wind tunnel tests of flutter in some very aerodynamically unstable wing designs.

    Narad is being sarcastic.

  101. #102 Narad
    August 10, 2014

    I don’t understand your replies at all. Are you saying that scalar waves do actually explain how Harmonized Water is (or might be) an efficacious drinkable sunscreen?

    No, I’m trying to “explain” the nutbaggery that they’re based on. Ben Johnson explicitly invoked Bearden.

  102. #103 Narad
    August 10, 2014

    The film of the first one, Galloping Gertie, was shown in several of my classes, along with wind tunnel tests of flutter in some very aerodynamically unstable wing designs.

    The alley behind my previous apartment was a natural Aeolian harp. It actually seemed to have two closely spaced resonances (I can’t figure out how the second one could have been a mixing product). I want to say about 8000 Hz, but I’m tone-deaf.

    I’d never encountered such a phenomenon before.

  103. #104 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 11, 2014

    @Ben Johnson,

    According to a friend who has worked at NASA, your statement that “NASA makes scalar waters for their astronauts” is unsupported by facts.

    If you have some substantive evidence for that claim, please share.

  104. #105 Pete A
    August 11, 2014

    Chris — Galloping Gertie, wind tunnel flutter tests, and Schlieren imaging ought to be a mandatory part of secondary school education. Wind flutter applies to even very simple things such as: roof guttering and its downpipes; overhead cables; car sunroofs, side windows, radio antennas, and windscreen wipers.

    Narad — thanks for the clarification. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to determine if a commentator is referring to anti-science and/or pseudoscience for the purpose of supporting it or to point out its nutbaggery (I like that word!).

  105. #106 Chris
    August 11, 2014

    Pete A, does your secondary school curriculum also include vector calculus, differential equations and Fourier transforms?

  106. #107 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 11, 2014

    Chris – I recall at least being exposed to vector calculus and differential equations when I was in secondary school, and I remember mention of Fourier transforms but no work in them. Of course at that time electronic music synthesizers were pretty new and you couldn’t discuss them without Fourier.

  107. #108 Chris
    August 11, 2014

    So did I, but not quite to the point where all three were combined. I don’t think I got to multivariable differential equations until well into my second year of university. Though it is kind of muddle because it was pretty much part of my job description for almost a decade. The one where I had use the FORTRAN based “Direct Matrix Abstraction Program” and MIMIC (for the mechanical systems, especially the nonlinear damping).

    So did you ever solve for eigenvectors and eigenvalues in secondary school? I think I was introduced to those in a mechanical systems class. One of the many preliminary engineering classes like material science, statics, etc required before even getting into a specific department.

  108. #109 Pete A
    UK
    August 11, 2014

    Chris — decades ago, my secondary school introduced me to these advanced concepts using televised programmes from the BBC, many of which were sourced by the Open University, UK. In other words, our school education system at that time was geared towards preparing students to obtain careers and to have a good practical understanding of how most things actually work. Everyone who took science classes at my secondary school knew how to use an oscilloscope; a geiger counter; how to dissect and illustrate the workings of a frog; understand the periodic table of elements and chemical interactions; and how to perform science- and evidence-based laboratory experiments, documented in a form suitable for independent peer-review (by the teachers and the school examining bodies). This was, and still is, basic science.

    I guess things are very different in 21st Century USA secondary schooling.

  109. #110 Chris
    August 11, 2014

    It depends on what you want to require and what the student is capable of. I tutored someone in high school who had problems with the fact that “x” and “y” were variables. Then there were the friends of my kids who dropped pre-calc because they could not grasp imaginary numbers.

    Then when I was working I had to painfully explain to stress engineers what my job, random vibration analysis, was about. Their equations only really dealt with was the kx = force bit of the equation, where I had that plus the mass times acceleration and the velocity times damping (which was nonlinear). Though I only had to deal with six degrees of freedom for the wheel/strut stuff, while they had thousands of degrees of freedom for large panels.

    So I am very happy that every student in your community was able to pass calculus and differential equations by the time they graduated. It must be nice to live where everyone is above average and there are unlimited funds for education.

    My younger son did do two years of Advanced Placement Calculus, while I did not get calculus at all. Mostly because I graduated from high school a year early, and the school at the small desert town my parents did not offer calculus. (my first high school did, but we moved, and seeing the writing on the wall, I made sure I did the work to leave and enter college when I was seventeen… the second high school was going to offer calculus the next year, it did prepare for academics about half of the school was vocational technical with auto shop, agriculture, cosmetology along the physics, chemistry, etc… the joys of being an Army brat…which included having classmates that were wives of soldiers, I knew the next town was next to another more rural Army base, hence the escape to college… where the flutter movies of the WWII bombers were actually filmed in the wind tunnel next door).

  110. #111 Narad
    August 12, 2014

    Of course at that time electronic music synthesizers were pretty new and you couldn’t discuss them without Fourier.

    Brother, I did a yearlong stint in an electronic music lab right when analog was being displaced by FM synth, and nobody but nobody understood anything but ADSR.

  111. #112 Pareidolius
    August 12, 2014

    I don’t “hate” you, Ben. I just think that you’re either delusional or a liar. You talk big and you deliver nothing (except water). Wait, are you in congress?

  112. #113 herr doktor bimler
    August 13, 2014

    <i.So did you ever solve for eigenvectors and eigenvalues in secondary school? I think I was introduced to those in a mechanical systems class.
    It may be that some of the regulars are not familiar with “Primary Education of the Camiroi”. There don’t seem to be many legitimate downloadable versions available, and of course I can’t recommend any of the illegitimate versions.

  113. #114 squirrelelite
    not in Tulsa any more
    August 13, 2014

    @herr doktor bimler,

    I love R.A. Lafferty. I hadn’t realized we both lived in Tulsa at the same time although I moved away before he started writing stories.

    I’m sure I have the book in paperback, but it’s buried away some where.

    I’m pretty sure I didn’t get into eigenvectors and eigenvalues until college. But then we only did college algebra and trigonometry in high school. Didn’t seem to hurt me when I got to calculus in college, though.

  114. #115 Narad
    August 13, 2014

    Yah, eigenvectors weren’t until college mechanics for me, possibly second-year. I wound up having to take calculus by correspondence course from the University of Wisconsin in high school, which was good deal, since I got to do it again using Spivak in college.

  115. #116 Zugswang
    August 16, 2014

    I thought the name Ver Hoeve sounded familiar…he was caught up in a Medicare fraud case nearly 15 years ago where he plead guilty to a single count of mail fraud in exchange for testimony against his employer. Unlike Ben Johnson, his license to practice in CA is still current, it seems, though I can’t find any indication of current FACS credentials.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2003/jun/07/business/fi-tenet7

  116. #117 Ben Johnson
    August 21, 2014

    Back again :) OK, well I obviously cannot answer all these responses. There is no other way to test the water. If I have anyone drink my UV formula then their entire body is protected which would affect the half of the body that you would want to apply traditional sunscreen to. The water does not work in a SPF testing facility, only in the sun, not sure if it the specificity of lamp frequencies or something else.
    My license is current in CA.
    I think you are still missing the main point. This water has been working for almost three years for a lot of people. No, it is not true that most people can lie on their back for one hour at noon in San Diego without burning. While I appreciate that many of you cannot fathom how this works, you cannot explain my success rate, testimonials and clinical trial results. I did not make them up. People use this water as their only sun protection while staying in the sun for several hours. We have had many media reports of successful tests of UV that I was not involved in.
    I am not familiar with placebo working because the ones running the trial want it bad enough. Honestly, I would call that intention and I do not believe that you can intend for something to happen in another without their consent. Intention is powerful but I wouldn’t think this group would be open to the spiritual aspects of science. As for placebo, it has never occurred at a 67% success rate (as in the UV trial) in the history of science as far as I know. My point about the magic of the universe was not that I know it, but that we all are still guessing as to what makes up the fabric of the universe. Do you not expect science to make incredible advances over the next 100 years that involve things we can’t currently imagine? I don’t fully understand the intricacies of how my formulas work as well as they do but my confidence comes from our 90% success rate.
    I wasn’t trying to do the perfect clinical trial, I was trying to prove a point, that my water works, and that was the best format I could come up with. Rather than coming up with the many intelligent (but not convincing) responses as to how I could be tricking the public, why not approach this with healthy curiosity. How is it that he is clearing all these acne & eczema cases? How does he get such great results with digestion, sleep, menopause, candida (12 out of 12 cases improved, final independent report pending)? How did his water pass a bacterial challenge test? Just for a moment imagine that you do not have a good handle on how energy flows in and out of the universe. Perhaps I stumbled onto something that doesn’t make sense yet…but will someday.
    The amount of people we help on a daily basis is something to be applauded, not attacked. No one is being hurt, on the contrary, we help just about everyone. If you ever met me you would know that I believe passionately in this so no, I am not a liar. Am I delusional? The 90% success rate is real. I get that there a lot of bullshit artists and con men out there. However, I am not one of them as you will soon see. I don’t need to argue with you over which type of wave is in the water. It is my assumption that it is a scalar wave. I do know the frequencies that I am putting into these waters, how they deposit into water is something we can look forward to discovering.
    At the end of the day, if you think my science is suspect, and you certainly have reason to based on the science we have been taught (because it is highly flawed), then consider that Harmonized Water as the greatest placebo ever invented. Placebo is still a real result, right? You should be curious as to how I was able to create formulas for so many conditions that work with remarkable success and explore that. Mind you, I do not believe my results are placebo for all the reasons I have stated including our tremendous results with infants. To say that the clearance of eczema occurs because the mom wants it is a little silly when we all know the mom’s want their kids to heal using any/every modality they can find. So would you say not to use my eczema formula because it is a cruel prank to play on a family? Really? Even when it works almost every time? You want them using steroids on their skin for years instead with no permanent clearance because “science” said it was the proper medical option? We are doing the right thing bringing these waters, which have no side effects, to market. Put me to the test :)

  117. #118 Pete A
    August 26, 2014

    Thanks for your long comment, Ben Johnson. In essence, you admit that you do not understand: the proposed science of the product; the placebo effect; product testing methodology; that customer testimonials are worthless (the plural of anecdote is not data); and medical safety — especially the need to fully assess the risk-benefit ratio of all products and treatments.

    It has been well established that a product which has zero harmful side-effects is a product that has either zero efficacy (beyond placebo) or it has been insufficiently tested. This isn’t a false dichotomy, it is an established fact.

    Furthermore, it matters not one iota whether science understands how a new product (or even a new hypothesis) “works” because epistemology, critical thinking, and the scientific method all make the perfectly reasonable demand that it is the vendor/proposer who has carries the burden of proof for the claimed effect being real rather than just wishful thinking. Once the claimed effect has been independently verified to exist by unbiased replication, only then is it reasonable to expect science to allocate resources for investigating the cause(s) of the effect.

    In my understanding of marketing, it is unethical (and forbidden under many jurisdictions) to market health products before they’ve been subjected to rigorous independent, auditable, testing and risk-benefit analysis. Where I live, sunscreen products fall into this category. Your mileage may vary.

    Do not invite the readers of this blog to put you to the test by using your product(s): put yourself to the test by obtaining legitimate, recognized, approval for your product(s) to be used for efficacious healthcare.

  118. #119 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 26, 2014

    @Ben Johnson – I am very easy to convince. I’m sure you’re aware of the concepts of double blind randomized placebo controlled test as well as statistical methods to analyze test results. Pick one of your harmonized waters (like your UV protection water), determine a success criterion, run a double blind randomized test with people who are given either your remedy or distilled deionized water in identical containers, and document the results. For extra credit, you might run additional arms of the tests to include using one of your remedies for something it’s not specified for – for example, give some people your hangover remedy instead of your UV Neutralizer-No Tan and see what impact it has on tanning and sunburn. Please do this with sufficient people to give it a chance of being statistically significant (a competent statistician can help you with determining what that means) and try to control for variations between individuals so people won’t accuse you of putting all of the people who are more susceptible to sun damage in the control group.

    Sadly, many people buy products over and over thinking they helped when they demonstrably have not. I fear your harmonized water customers may fall into that category.

    By the way, do you have something to back up your comment that “NASA makes scalar waters for their astronauts”? The people I’ve talked to who have been at NASA dispute this.

  119. #120 KayMarie
    August 26, 2014

    “As for placebo, it has never occurred at a 67% success rate (as in the UV trial) in the history of science as far as I know.”

    Usual range given for placebo cure rate is 15-72%.

    So 67% is not so completely unheard of.

    Placebo effect rates depend a lot on the nature of the thing being treated as well as the number and quality of the interactions with the doctor providing the placebo.

    At one clinical research center I worked at they actually had one doctor who had some quality in the interaction that made his placebo cure rate routinely in the 70-80% range.

    To me healthy curiosity includes seeing which of all the possible boxes something could fit in, it seems to fit with. If you don’t want to fit in the “probably a scam” box then don’t do things that are consistent with those things.

    One thing that tends to be scammy is the total lack of independent testing. It is one thing to say Oh look I tested my own product and I got great results when your bias is likely to lead you in ways that give you great results (which isn’t just a scammy thing, happens to scientists all the time, which is why we use blinding and controls).

    Since it does so well and sells so much why not fund someone at the nearest research lab to get a student (so it could be done relatively cheaply) to do some testing. Some say it isn’t completely independent as you are giving money for supplies/stipend, etc. However it is fairly common for legitimate companies who want to legitimize a product or device to enlist university researchers to do the testing. Often the military will require a university partner on grants they give to a company as the expectation is that other than it paid to keep the lights on in the lab the university researchers have much less financial stake in the success of the product or device.

    What also looks scammy is if there is no possible way to do any quality assurance on the product to ensure it is encoded or energized or contains anything that is part of the claim.

  120. #121 Pete A
    August 26, 2014

    @KayMarie #120: your comment is spot on. I’d like to add to your last paragraph by stating that whenever a claim cannot be scientifically tested, especially when the production line also cannot be quality assured by test & measurement, we might as well say that the invisible dragon in my garage told me how to produce and market the product.